Wednesday December 06, 2023

Jinnah’s untiring efforts for emancipation of Muslims highlighted

April 25, 2019

The Quaid-e-Azam struggled for the creation of Pakistan to save the Muslims of the subcontinent from exploitation by the British and the domination of the Hindus. As such, the people of Pakistan, especially the youth who are not witness to Partition, must know the importance of the idea and the movement Mr Jinnah spearheaded as they are the future of the country and have to lead it.

This exhortation was made by Liaquat Merchant, a grand-nephew of the Quaid and president of the Jinnah Society, while addressing the students and faculty of the Sindh Madressatul Islam University on Wednesday. He said it was an awesome feeling to be in an institution in the portals of which the Quaid had trod. He said that the idea of Pakistan could never die.

Mr Merchant said that Mr Jinnah in the beginning was referred to as the “ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity”. He recalled that Mahatama Gandhi, who was not very favourably inclined to Mr Jinnah, referred to Mr Jinnah as the leader of the Muslim minority. He said that in 1944, Gandhi went to Jinnah’s house for parleys where Mr Jinnah put forth the idea of Partition to which Gandhi replied, “How can a community of converts become a nation?” To which Mr Jinnah replied, “Hindus and Muslims are two nations distinctly apart, with their own customs, their own culture. By all canons of law, we are a nation.”

He mentioned the cabinet mission plan which was perceived by Sir Stafford Cripps and which postulated that in Muslim majority areas Muslims would form the government, and in Hindu majority areas, the Hindus would form the government. He said that Jinnah accepted the proposal but Jawaharlal Nehru shot it down.

He referred to an article in a section of the press on Tuesday which spoke of the maltreatment of the Muslims in India which consolidated his assertion that Pakistan was a way out from the domination of the Hindus.

Giving a breakdown of the population of Sindh before Partition, he said that 75 per cent of Sindh’s population were Muslims, 22 per cent Hindus, and three pe rcent Christians, Jews and other faiths.

Merchant said that we had certainly achieved political independence but we still had to achieve economic independence as a country. He also revealed some facts about the last will of the Quaid wherein the latter had bequeathed a third of his property to his alma mater, the Sindh Madressatul Islam. He said that the Quaid-e-Azam Aligarh Scholarship Trust was benefitting 7,100 students across the length and breadth of Pakistan.

He said most of the finances the Quaid had bequeathed in his will had gone to education. He also highlighted the role of the Jinnah Society. Earlier, Muhammad Ali Sheikh, the vice-chancellor of the Sindh Madressatul Islam University, paid a tribute to Mr Merchant by highlighting his untiring efforts to acquaint the nation with the achievements of the Quaid which benefitted the whole Muslim nation and said that Mr Merchant was a bridge between the past and the present as regards the history of the subcontinent. At the end, Sheikh presented a memento to the guest of honour.